Clearly, I’ve not been writing much in the past few months. End of year/new year is something I take fairly seriously, despite the fact that it looks suspiciously like I’m adhering to some sort of mainstream tradition. It feels like I have 2 basic points in the year where change occurs: the first is usually in September, probably due to that combination of school year beginning and my late August birthday. The second, this one, feels more like the result of the fall months: I tend to be the most productive, and/or reflective, during this time. Â Granted, plenty happens at other times of year (like oh, say, moving to another country in late May), but for the most part, fall/winter is regenerative, hence the refresh.
I haven’t been blogging for a few reasons, thanks for asking. It’s been an unexpectedly hard adjustment to Prague, complicated by my inability to really let go of the Bay Area. My return back there for a month in Oct/Nov was both comforting and complicating: I’m so defined and validated by my Bay Area experiences, friends, and family that a month of unadulterated love and validation there it made it even harder to go back to being anonymous and uninvolved with a Prague community. Being a serious and regular international traveler is one thing: I’ve spent months at a time in other countries. The thing is, I’d never lived outside the Bay Area, in any open-ended, extended way, as an adult.Â I found myself unexpectedly grieving a great deal for my Bay Area roots: I wouldn’t quite call it homesickness, but I definitely missed all the cozy, loving familiarity and friendship. While Prague has slowly but surely revealed itself to be a remarkable place, it has really taken me much longer than expected to understand my new raison-d’etre here.
While I was back in Cali, I went out to dinner with some friends: we got to talking about blogging, and I confessed that I’d dropped seriously off on it for a while. When asked why, I said/realized that because of my move, I felt seriously unclear on who my community, and by extension, my blog audience, might be. The things that drove Wofflings were primarily a, personal art-world shenanigans, b, repping for friends, local exhibitions and causes I wanted to support, c, Filipino stuff, and d, semi-personal reflections on creative practice. Among other things. In leaving the Bay Area, I felt unsure on how to write about some of this further. As I’m finally settling in more gracefully at long last, it seems as good a time as any to reassess the what and why of Wofflings, in order to get back at it again.
In the last two posts here, I was also feeling really awful about what had been happening in the Philippines, a place I love as much as the Bay Area, but which also feels much, much too far away again. Beyond the subjects I wrote about, I know that friends there have been undergoing other tragedies and drama in Manila and Luzon, and then in the past month, the horribleness in Maguindanao, too. I couldn’t resolve how to return to blogging about more personal, trivial matters after all of this.
And in my exceedingly slow, awkward adjustment to Prague, I felt utterly lost about how to connect to my new surroundings, let alone blog about it. I wasn’t interested in writing a travel/expat “Prague experience” blog: although I have come across some that are really nice, I haven’t felt like the world needs one more foreigner in the Czech Republic writing about it. And it made really no sense to blog about my protracted moping and flailing about.
It really only feels like I’ve settled in, authentically, this past month. Talk about a protracted adjustment period. I’m forever re-realizing that I’m a slow starter, but quick once I get going: it took well into my 2nd semester of grad school before I felt comfortable there, too. Give me about 6 months, I guess, and I finally pull it together. Partly it’s finally having a few friends and social life, mercifully: partly, it’s that my Czech is much improved (dÄ›kuji, Jana SlavÃkova), putting just the daily tasks of reading and simple verbal communication within reach at long last. The Pirate’s work chaos seems to be subsiding somewhat, and I’m finally making art again and working a bit on a new gig (more on that shortly), which means he and I aren’t on such polar extreme opposites in our daily routines, either. And it’s also that we have some sublime, regular go-to spots, which make me appreciate this place all the more. It’s nice feeling like you know a place. In any case, I’ve stopped feeling as isolated as I was for quite a while there.
So. In any case. Expect an end-of-year flurry of long-overdue posts, and a return to woffling here more regularly in the months to come. I’m still sorting out a format, but in any case, I’m back at it. More soon.